Author: Captain Mike Littlefield
Summer Fluke Fishing (Northeast)
This year has started out stellar with the black seabass and the fluke bite off of Newport RI. We have been going out daily in the afternoons and catching our limit in a few hours. Whenever possible, fish when the wind and tide are flowing in the same direction this will increase your odds of picking up that doormat fluke that's on your bucket list.
We like to use light tackle rods that where designed by crafty one customs in Portsmouth RI, By Ralph Craft. For the reels we use the Finnor Marquesa 12 that is a work horse for any species we target. All our reels are spooled with Bulbuster 50lb braid ( I use all different colors) It helps when my clients have tangles I need to get undone.
We make our own high low rigs using the bullbuster 80lb Mono using a 4/0 Octopus hook dressed with small squid skirt. Match the hatch fluke eat squid, bluefish, sea bass, silversides, mummies and more. Try to match the prevailing forage.
Once you find the fish, repeat the pattern. Note the location and depth, and drift over the same spot. The biggest fluke can be found on the outskirts of structure, such as wrecks, ledges and boulder-strewn bottom. When wind and tide are opposing, try to drift perpendicular to the spot you want to fish. At least you will get your bait in front of some fish, some of the time. Try power-drifting (bumping the boat in and out of gear) at slack tide to put your baits in front of the fish. Don’t just sit there. You will be wasting your time. A Lot of the guys in the northeast are putting Minkota trolling motors on their boats to create a drift.
What is a perfect drift? Generally speaking, a drift of 1 ½ knots is ideal since this speed will keep the fluke aggressively chasing down your offerings while minimizing the activities of undesirables such as skates, sea robbins and dogfish
. However, there are exceptions to this rule that only the fish can explain, but if your drift is between 1 and 2 knots you'll be ok.
A drift much over 2 knots may be too fast, which will require more weight to hold bottom, and will result in a lot of short strikes, particularly in water deeper than 60 feet. A sea anchor is the solution to slow the drift down allowing the rig to stay on the bottom and give the fluke a shot at the bait.
A sea-anchor is a triangular type bag attached to a piece of anchor rope placed overboard where it fills with the water. It acts as a drogue and slows a fast drifting boat right down. To determine what size sea anchor you should use depends on the size of the boat. A sea anchor is extremely effective when drifting in deep water where a considerable amount of lead is required. Quite often when the fish are in water depths of 60 feet or better and a fast drift requires 8 or 12 ounces to touch bottom, a sea anchor can reduce the amount of lead to 6 to 8 ounces.
Let the big boys chew ! lettem chew, if you miss em they come back. I tend to drop the bait right back down to them, thinking they injured the bait and then they swallow it whole.
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